TEOTWAWKI Planning From the Perspective of a Former SF Operator, by SAV

When starting the process of preparation for TEOTWAWKI we must first plan for the most likely scenario that will cause the survival situation you are prepping for.

When contemplating the TEOTWAWKI scenarios, one is confronted by a plethora of daunting challenges and theories from Magnetic pole reversal, getting hit by a rouge asteroid (don’t worry about this one Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis will save us) to solar flares knocking out technology, and the list continues.  My fear is that the end will not come from a major event but from a minor event that triggers a chain reaction of panic, that causes a societal collapse.

In my former life I have been to areas of the world that have suffered from just this type of situation a relatively small event that causes a panic that quickly spreads like a wildfire until it causes destabilization.  Some critics would argue that this could not happen in a technologically advanced society, because of the quick access of mass information. I feel this quick access to mass information is going to actually cause any panic to spread faster. Please do not conclude from this that I am anti-technology, I in fact love my computers, Internet, I-phones, GPS, and television. I am purely expressing, this flow of information that is unfiltered by logic and fact could potentially cause a problem.

If you Google December 21, 2012 you will get 25.4 Million results, some against a possible TEOTWAWKI situation but most are for it.  I am not worried about a major event ripping the planet apart and destroying all life on the planet, I do not plan on building or buying a long-range spacecraft to whisk me off to another world; I will just sit back and enjoy the ride to oblivion. What does worry me is that with all of the 12/21/2012 hype from television to the Net is that the seed of panic has been planted in the minds of a large population of the planet. If on 12/21/ 2012 a relatively small event dose happen (i.e. California earthquake, a solar flare knocks out a power grid, or even a Terrorist attack) happens it could cause a mass panic with global implications.  Though these events would not normally cause any permanent damage the groundwork has been laid on this day to cause mass physiological damage.

The situation I will prepare for is a small event that causes panic, which leads to society’s collapse.  When a society collapses human nature forces new societies to immediately emerge, some of these societies will survive and some will die out as quickly as they started.  These societies can consist of small bands of people to large groups, predictably with time some societies will merge creating new larger societies and eventually civilizations.  Through out time humans have survived by banding together for a common goal wither that goal is to rob, pillage and plunder other groups or to work together to cover the basics of survival and form a community, these new societies will inevitably emerge.               

After traveling the globe, I have come to the realization that there is no such thing as a big problem only a bunch of small problems lumped together, solved the small problems one at a time and the “Big problem” goes away, this is the methodology I take for my preparation. 

Before I started my family the concept of survival was not a complicated one, I have the gear and skills to basically become a “ghost”.  Simply put, I’d grab my gear, head for the hills, and survive off the land until I was ready to find a stable group to join.  Now that I have my family to protect, survival has become more complicated and has required more planning and preparation, my planning and preparation is based on a flexible timeline (because in survival flexibility is key)  In this scenario society has collapsed  what to do:

Getting home

Because a majority of us work a normal job to support our families the first challenge we face is getting to our homes or safe spot where our families and gear are, thus the preparation of a Get Home Bag (GHB).  There is “no one size fits all” GHB as the gear you need to get home will vary from person to person and location to location, so I will just touch on the items I have for my situation.  I normally wear a suit and tie to work everyday, my office is located in a suburban area, not far from a city center and only 10-to 15 miles from my home, in a moderate climate area. 

While suit, ties, and dress shoes are great for power meetings in a survival situation they do me little good, so the first item I have is a change of clothes that consist of jeans, a long leave shirt, a lightweight jacket, riggers belt, a nondescript hat (with no logos), socks and hiking boots.  I know there are you out there that love your 5.11s and BDUs but camouflage or tactical look in an urban environment in crisis is equivalent to holding a sign that says “Shoot me, I’m an authority figure” I selected this outfit strictly to get home to my family and gear, think about it as “urban camouflage”.

Next, I have my defensive tools, a Glock pistol and Kel-Tec Sub 2000 chambered for the .40 S&W caliber, I selected these weapons for their lightweight and concealment properties rather that any ability to get into a long range, sustained gunfights.  I have 200 rounds of ammo, a sturdy folding knife, ASP baton and a can of pepper spray foam and all of these items can be concealed on my person.

My bag is a nondescript backpack that would not look out of place in any urban setting, in my pack I have water containers, an MRE, Fire starting supplies, 550 cord, duct tape, Flashlight, batteries, space blanket, multi-tool, pen/ paper, and first aid kit. I normally carry my cell phone and have a land line in my office no guarantee they will work but try the simple things first. 

In the event I can drive home, I have four different routes by vehicle and four on foot, most of these routes can be interchanged with each other to account for variables along the way. 

We have a family plan in place, once the crisis begins, I have 72 hours to get to my family before they will bug-out and follow their emergency plan.  If all goes well I would make it home before they bug-out, if not I will make my way to our Bug-Out Location (BOL).

The First 72 hours

At our house, we have preparations for two possible scenarios “Bug-in” or “Bug-out” we have enough food and water to support our family plus four for 30 days, our food stores are a mixture of canned and dry foods that are easy to prepare and are shelf stable for a bug-in situation.  We also have a 14-day supply of portable survival rations that can be pack for transport for our bug-out.  In our home supplies, we have enough food, water, weapons, ammo, and other survival gear to last our family plus four for 30 days.  Based our preparation on 30 days based on the natural lull after a major crisis before that 30 days is up we will either have moved to our BOL or worst case if we were un-able to move we would have started the “scout and scavenge” patrols in our area.

Once we are home the real work begins, in our plan the first order of business to fortify our location, (this is more than just the normal security precautions we have in place already) This includes but is not limited to reinforcing the entry points against brute force attacks. Making the house blend in, if the neighbors’ have fled in panic and the other houses in the area look disheveled with random clothing or items in the yard, throw some non-necessity items in the yard to insure your house look just like the other houses (hiding in plain sight).  Bring your Bug out vehicle (BOV) into the garage (if possible) and get it loaded with your bug out gear if not already packed.

Monitor the situation as best as possible, we keep a survival radio in the house as well as a ham [multi-band] and CB radio on hand with an alternative power source just for this purpose.

After the first 72 hours, you must make the decision to attempt to get to your BOL or to stay in place. If you think, it is not safe to move wait another 72 hours and reassess.                 

The Bug-Out

Our BOBs include everything we need to make it to and establish our BOL, which is at a higher elevation; in a wilderness area approximately 2.5 hour drive on a good day, (which is not the case in this scenario) as with the “GHB” everyone’s “BOB” needs will be different.  You can find hundreds of articles on what to have in you BOB take some time to research and test then make a list and put your Bob together with the supplies that will fit your plans.  Our bags are military style large MOLLE packs and my pack supplies are different from my wife’s, but contain the same basic elements for survival in the case that one or the other packs is lost or destroyed in the bug out process.

Here is where all you tactical and camo guys and gals can get interested, for our bug out we have our more tactical clothing and gear because we are going to do the majority of our movement at nighttime. 

We have not set this up as a combat operation, but more like a survival plan with combat tactics, it is simply moving as un-noticed as possible and using as many force multipliers to assist us as possible, in this case the cover of darkness. Like our “get home plan”, we have several routes established for both vehicle and foot and all of these routes have multiple areas of possible resupply, established waypoints, and rest /regroup areas.  We will attempt to use our BOV (mid 1980s Dodge Ram Charger, with some modifications) to get as far as possible, for this phase my wife will drive, I know insert woman driver joke, but I can confidently say she could out drive most of the readers here.   I have her driving in the event there is a questionable area we have to traverse through, along our route, my training has afforded me the skills to slip ahead and scout the route or shoot from a moving vehicle effectively.  

When setting up your Bug out plans you must make sure they are commiserate with your skills and ability’s.  Don’t make your BOL on top of a ridge that the only way in is a 100 foot vertical climb if you can barley make it up a flight of stairs with out getting winded. If you choose a location like that, make sure you train yourself to be able to make it to your BOL. Do not attempt nighttime movements if you do not have the land navigation skills not to get lost.

The Bug-Out Location 
We selected our BOL for several reasons first of them was its remoteness as stated before it in located a higher elevation in a wilderness area, it is not on the path of least resistance, and it is highly unlikely that someone would just happen upon it.  The area is abundant with natural resources like a fresh water source, wildlife and fertile soil.  Only a handful of trusted people know where our BOL is, and these people are welcome there.

As with the supplies it takes to get here our BOL is stocked with what we need to live not just survive, and everybody’s supplies for their BOL will be different.  Some irregular items we have stocked ours with is salt licks for wildlife, shelf stable seeds for vegetables, solar panels & wind turbines, for energy generation, and we build a smokehouse for food preservation, and extra building supplies and tools in case we need to add or build a new structure.

Our BOL has approximately a 25 yard stand off  from any surrounding cover for defense purposes as well as established hidden escape & evasion routes, the location it sits on has great visibility out to see approaching threats.   

In conclusion, your greatest survival tool is having a flexible plan that allows room for ever-changing variables it keeps you focused on the mission and help to keep you calm facing the stress of TEOTWAWKI until you get to your BOL and start establishing your new society.